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Compact States

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Can someone please explain to me how holding an RN license in a Compact state works? I'm a bit confused. My situation is that I currently live in Arizona which is a Compact state and I want to work in Colorado that is a Compact state as well. Now on the the Colorado board of nursing site is says that I don't have to apply for a Colorado License...but I thought there were limits to this...maybe I was wrong. So I am assuming that my AZ license will be good in any Compact state until it expires? Am I on the right tract here?

Are you talking about working in CO, or moving to CO?There is a lot of confusion and misinformation about the NLC (Nurse Licensure Compact). The easiest way to understand it is that it works exactly the same as our drivers' licenses. Everyone understands perfectly well that you can use your driver's license from your home state to drive as far as you want, for as long as you want, anywhere in the US -- but, if you move to another state, you have 30 days (or whatever the state law says) to apply for a new license. You can't just drive indefinitely in a new "home" state on your old license. The only reason we're able to do that, and not have to stop at each state line and apply for a new license when we're driving cross-country on vacation, is because all the US states got together long age, early in the Automobile Age, and signed a compact (an actual physical document, like a treaty) agreeing to recognize each other's licenses for temporary travel purposes.The NLC works the same way, except that not all the US states have agreed (so far) to sign (join) the compact. You can use your AZ license with "compact privileges" to work in any other compact state, for as long as you want, as long as you maintain your permanent residence in AZ. When you move to another state, one of two things happens. If you move to a non-compact state, you keep your AZ license (until it expires, and you can choose to renew it or not at that time) but it loses its compact privileges and becomes just a regular, traditional license that is only good in AZ. If you move to another compact state, you have 30 days to apply for a license in your new "home" state and then your AZ license just becomes invalid, because you can only hold one compact license at a time and it must be in your state of primary residence.Hope this is helpful, and isn't just making you more confused than you already were.

I am a former AZ nurse who moved to CO in May. It's true that you can work in any compact state under your AZ license, but you must maintain a permanent residence in AZ if you wish to keep your AZ license. Since we physically relocated to CO, I applied for a CO license. Once that went through (which happened very quickly, within about 10 days), CO informed AZ that I was declaring CO as my home state, and AZ nullified my license with them.

Wow, I didn't know that's how it works. Learn something new everyday.

Thank you guys so much. That was very helpful.
Author: alice  3-06-2015, 16:35   Views: 824   
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